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Digital horror startup Crypt TV raises $6.2 million to fund growth

Digital horror startup Crypt TV raises $6.2 million to fund growth
Jack Davis with Giggles the Clown. Davis' Crypt TV has raised $6.2 million in new funding from past investors, including Blumhouse Productions and NBCUniversal. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Horror startup Crypt TV has scared up some new capital to fund its growth in the online video space.

The 3-year-old digital producer, founded by entrepreneur Jack Davis and “Hostel” director Eli Roth, has raised $6.2 million from past investors to create a new generation of monsters for young consumers who devour bite-size videos on their smartphones.

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Los Angeles-based Crypt TV plans to use the money to make new seasons of its most popular short-form shows, invest in longer videos and develop new characters, the company said. It also hopes to expand into podcasting and virtual reality.

Crypt says its videos, most of which are only about 3 minutes long, average more than 100 million online views a month on Facebook and YouTube, thanks to creepy creations such as eyeless monster the Look-See.

“This new round of financing allows us to move freely in responding to fan demand to make more and longer episodes and seasons around monsters our fans love,” said Davis, 26, in a statement.

The fresh injection of cash comes about a year after Crypt TV raised $3.5 million in a round led by venture capital firm Lerer Hippeau, which has backed digital video companies including the Dodo, BuzzFeed and Fatherly.

“Get Out” and “Insidious” producer Blumhouse Productions, Lerer Hippeau, NBCUniversal and Shari Redstone’s Advancit Capital participated in the latest round.

Davis and Roth started the company after creating a viral contest in 2014 called "6 Second Scare," in which people tried to create the most frightening Vine video. Blumhouse was Crypt’s first investor. Since Crypt’s official launch in April 2015, the company has raised more than $10 million.

Crypt TV says its aim is to use bite-size videos on social media to create a so-called monster universe, modeled after Marvel Studios’ popular stable of superheros. One of its characters, Giggles the Clown, was featured as an attraction at Knott’s Scary Farm last fall and graced merchandise at novelty retailer Spencer’s.

“They are well on their way to creating a true digital universe of captivating characters with story lines that resonate with young audiences around the world,” said Blumhouse founder Jason Blum.

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